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  • #979361
    wickstim
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    I am in the planning stages of my new startup, and have(through reading this forum and the planning process) come to the brilliant conclusion that I need to invest in branding. It is something I haven’t done in previous businesses and I can see that the lack of professional help I building a brand has hindered me in the past.
    I am about to approach a local company that does branding, and now that I am actually pulling money from my pocket I am nervous. I know I need to do it, but would love a gentle push…….

    Do you have any advice?

    Do you have a story about branding success?

    Can you recommend someone that is excellent at branding, and why?

    Thanks in advance

    #1113814
    RSI
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    • Total posts: 5
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    Hi Wickstim,

    Branding is great and exciting, especially if its the face of your company. we are a signage company affiliated with graphic designers, graphic artists and branding specialists.

    Now from experience its not “cheap”, however if you approach a graphic designer and go from there you should be able to split your costs up and bit by bit, you’ll get there.

    Hope I’m on the right track.

    Regards,

    RSI
    http://www.revolutionsigninstalls.com.au

    #1113815
    wickstim
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    • Total posts: 32
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    RSI, post: 127345 wrote:
    Hi Wickstim,

    Branding is great and exciting, especially if its the face of your company. we are a signage company affiliated with graphic designers, graphic artists and branding specialists.

    Now from experience its not “cheap”, however if you approach a graphic designer and go from there you should be able to split your costs up and bit by bit, you’ll get there.

    Hope I’m on the right track.

    Regards,

    RSI
    http://www.revolutionsigninstalls.com.au

    Hi RSI,
    yes thanks this is the type of conversation I am after, and although I realise no one wants to share what they have spent, some ideas of ball park figures would be great (I am ready for the ‘how long is a piece of string’ post), no harm in asking.

    Hoping to get a great branding conversation started for a startup.

    #1113816
    Chris – Marketing
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    Branding is not just signage or graphic designs. Brand is the whole structure of your business. Think about your market age group, gender, demographics, socio economics. No use creating a great modern cool sign if your client base is retirees.
    Also what does your brand offer and how do you deliver this. What are the core values of your brand? Once you start with the basic signage your brand has to follow through to your uniforms, to the way you train staff to the way you conduct yourself, your return/complaints policies and All through your procedures which are spelt out for all to follow..etc..

    So are you looking to have Signage done or are you looking to Brand your business???????

    You contact me for an informal chat.

    Chris Poulios
    http://www.satisfaction-marketing.com.au
    http://www.webthreads.com.au

    #1113817
    Gavin_S
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    • Total posts: 80
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    Hi Wikstim,
    Make sure the branding agency you are meeting with demonstrates that they have an in depth understanding of your business, target market, and goals.
    There are hundreds of branding agencies out there – look for one that has solid examples to show you of their previous (recent) work and ideally look for one with experience in your field or a similar field.
    Good branding is worth it’s weight in gold, but remember you need a plan for how to use your new branding image/assets to reach your target market. The ‘right’ branding agency will understand this and will proactively discuss it with you at length before they ask you to sign any contract.
    Good luck!

    Gavin

    #1113818
    tonyk
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    I think the most important thing to do is take some time and find something you really like that reflects not only yourself but is also professional and then stick with it. There is nothing worse in my view than a company that constantly changes its logo.

    #1113819
    wickstim
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    • Total posts: 32
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    Thanks Gavin_S, you have helped me focus on 2 key concepts that I can see are important when looking for a company that will take care of me/work with me on my brand.

    Gavin_S, post: 127369 wrote:
    Hi Wikstim,
    ideally look for one with experience in your field or a similar field.

    This would be brilliant, now I need to start ringing around and look for someone with this experience, unless anyone knows a branding agency that has it already?

    Gavin_S, post: 127369 wrote:
    Hi Wikstim,
    remember you need a plan for how to use your new branding image/assets to reach your target market. The ‘right’ branding agency will understand this and will proactively discuss it with you at length before they ask you to sign any contract.

    Hadn’t thought of this but it makes sense, thanks again.

    #1113820
    bluepenguin
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    As has been mentioned before, branding encompasses far more than your logo and business cards, it’s about the overall image you promote to your market.

    It includes the way you answer the phone, the way you dress, how you deal with complaints, etc…

    If you’re concious of budget, you can get it done in a few stages – and it need not all come from the same source, so long as you’re dealing with people that know what they’re doing.

    I’d always start with a logo, as a well designed one will provide your colours, theme, style and personality. …and get your designer to create a style guide to go with it to ensure it is used consistently, regardless of how many people get their grubby hands on it.

    #1113821
    tkc2012
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    • Total posts: 64
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    I think it’s a mistake to think that branding is a “thing” in and of itself. It’s not. It’s a whole heap of tangible and intangible parts that form some sort of “whole”. It’s often the way the parts fit together–the glue, perhaps–that enrich a brand and make it successful. That glue could be something like voice or personality. Anyways…

    It really is hard to put a price on it. Some bits will cost money. Some more than others. Others will come through hard work. I paid money for my graphic design, website, some copywriting, and printing. But everything else was just my time.

    I think creativity is the most important part of building a brand. This is what branding companies charge money for. Their creativity. Thus, if you think you can do it yourself, I say go for it. But then again, you might wish to outsource some of the tasks like graphic design if that’s not your thing.

    Another thing, be strategic. Don’t just jump in and hope for the best. If you are going to do something, do it for a reason.

    #1113822
    marnieb
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    • Total posts: 159
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    Hi wickstim.

    Advice – I’d say keep in mind that your brand is so much more than just your logo, which is why it’s so important to hire a professional in this area.

    I can recommend Leah from The Golden Goose (also a FS member). We’ve worked with her recently on a few projects and have been so happy with her work. She’s a talented graphic designer but also understands that branding is so much more than that. She’s incredibly passionate about branding and it seems as though it’s never too much trouble for her to take the time to explain why a decision could be good or bad for our brand. She’s brill!

    Good luck!

    wickstim, post: 127339 wrote:
    I am in the planning stages of my new startup, and have(through reading this forum and the planning process) come to the brilliant conclusion that I need to invest in branding. It is something I haven’t done in previous businesses and I can see that the lack of professional help I building a brand has hindered me in the past.
    I am about to approach a local company that does branding, and now that I am actually pulling money from my pocket I am nervous. I know I need to do it, but would love a gentle push…….

    Do you have any advice?

    Do you have a story about branding success?

    Can you recommend someone that is excellent at branding, and why?

    Thanks in advance

    #1113823
    Snakeman
    Participant
    • Total posts: 329
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    Nothing is as easy as it first seems (mostly) and branding is one of these!
    Brands often have sub-brands, logos, slogans and more.
    It is also important to be aware of other brands out there so that you don’t infringe on their IP (trademarks, etc).
    It is common for a new business to pursue a brand image only to find themselves getting stopped by an established player with a trademark that is registered.
    If that happens a lot of time and money is wasted!
    Often a business may need to develop a strategy that may take years to play our in terms of branding and/or changing direction in line with the market or the law.
    Hope this helps.

    #1113824
    JacquiPryor
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    It is also important to be aware of other brands out there so that you don’t infringe on their IP (trademarks, etc). It is common for a new business to pursue a brand image only to find themselves getting stopped by an established player with a trademark that is registered.

    Snakeman’s right – this is an important part (or should be) in any branding exercise. Feel free to look around my website or get in touch if you have any questions on this part of the process. All the best :)

    #1113825
    TheGoldenGoose
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    Thankyou Marnie! The process is always easier when the client is amazing ;)

    It has been mentioned before that a brand is so much more than a logo. I second this. I also appreciate that you can see where you have gone wrong in the past.

    When you name a business, and continue with design, marketing, website without considering the fundamentals of your brand/business’ personality – you are leading yourself down the garden path.

    Why listen to me? I’ve been there before. Here’s the story of my rename/rebrand.

    If I can leave you with one piece of advice: Perception is everything.

    Best of luck with this (ad)venture! Excitement :)

    #1113826
    Dean @ Four P’s Marketing
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    Hi there,

    As others have said, branding is more than the logo itself. However, a logo is a good starting point. It should represent your character, product offering and positioning [cheap, middle or superior]. The logo is then incorporated into all other areas of your marketing tools.

    When designing a logo, always consider how it will be represented – obviously colour, but how does it reproduce in black and white, what about embroidery onto a uniform, large signage or even very small prints. Things to consider are details, number of colours and ease of reproduction. Plus it’s good to have a logo where elements can be used in website design, design of your letterhead and all other brochures/presentation materials.

    A good logo can cost you around $1,500 to around …well anything, but not much more than $2,500 for start-ups . A Good graphic designer will help you with all areas of using your logo, setting up your letterhead etc and working WITH you to get your logo right.

    It just so happens we work with such a designer – http://www.angeldesigns.com.au/ – check out the variations of logo’s there. They also partner with my company to provide a complete branding solution!

    Best of luck!

    Regards

    Dean
    Four P’s Marketing

    #1113827
    joanbell
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    • Total posts: 21
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    Great advice from everyone and just to add my own take on this, here are a couple of questions.

    What does your company stand for?
    What is it’s core message?
    What are your company’s values?
    Are you aiming low or high end clients?

    Even simple things like colour, feel, images, style are all important if you want your company to reflect you and who you are.

    If you could play with these questions and get some ideas down you will be well prepared when having conversations with branding experts.

    Hope this helps.

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